Posts Tagged Fitness

Matters Of The Heart …..

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PREVENTING  HEART  DISEASE  —  ALARMING TREND:   MORE  WOMEN  UNDER  45  DYING  OF  HEART  DISEASE

An alarming trend is emerging in the fight against heart disease.  More women under 45 are dying of heart disease due to clogged arteries, despite the fact that the overall death rate from heart disease has decreased.

A study by researchers at the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Britain’s University of Liverpool shows the worrisome trend for women of that age group.  Experts think that increasing rates of obesity in younger adults, among other factors, are to blame.

Many diseases that are common today are a reflection of our unhealthy lifestyle, along with a combination of bad diet and lack of exercise.  If that is true, then it is also true that you can decrease the risk of disease or even early death, by improving your eating habits and increasing your daily physical activity.

According to the American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one killer today is heart disease, which accounts for about 700,000 deaths each year, about 29% of all US deaths. 

The CDC recommends that maintaining a healthy weight by eating an overall healthy diet in combination with regular physical activity (at least 30 minutes on most days of the week) can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and prevent obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The American College of Sports Medicine and The American Heart Association released new guidelines encouraging Americans of any age to strength-train at least twice a week on top of a regular cardio workout to build a healthier body.

It is recommended that adults perform eight to twelve repetitions of eight to ten exercises using appropriate weight for their individual fitness level.  By exercising all major muscle groups (arms, shoulders, chest, back, upper legs and lower legs) regularly, we also prevent losing muscle mass and gaining fat as we age.

Research by Tufts University found that bone density can be improved through strength training, potentially preventing osteoporosis.  So the benefits of adding weights to your workout routine are endless.

For simple suggestions on how to transform to a healthy lifestyle by creating healthy eating habits, increasing physical activity, de-stressing your life, and generally having a more positive mindset, please visit my website   www.FitwithAndrea.com

On a personal note:  The prevention of heart disease is very dear to me as my mother passed away at an early age after suffering a stroke related to her blood pressure being too high.

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Endorphins – The Body’s Natural Painkiller

‘ENDORPHIN’ — A combination of ‘endo’ and ‘morphine’ – meaning endogenously 
                        produced morphine, or internally produced painkiller

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ENDORPHINS AND EXERCISE

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Have you ever asked yourself why you are generally in a good mood and feel great after exercising?  Well, one answer certainly is an overall feeling of accomplishment, but there is also something to be said about the power of these little, hormone-like substances called ‘endorphins.’  When you exercise, endorphins are being released in your body, giving you a feeling of well-being and a state of euphoria.  These feelings can be so powerful that they actually mask pain (the body’s natural painkiller). 

Maybe you have heard the term ‘Runner’s High’ or have experienced it yourself.  All it takes for most people is moderate-intensity exercise of at least 30 minutes to be in high spirits and feel the elation and joy of a ‘Runner’s High.’  Short, high-intensity workouts have proven to be of little value when it comes to experiencing those benefits.  So the most effective stress relief and improvement to your mood may indeed be exercise–who would have thought!

ENDORPHINS AND LOVE

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With so much power influencing your mood during and after exercise to the point of giving you a ‘Natural High,’ you probably think that endorphins are also responsible for the incredible feelings of infatuation, falling in love, and then being in love with that ‘special person.’  Well, yes and no.  Infatuation or feeling an almost unbearable attraction to someone, when the pure sight of that person can make your heart beat faster and your eyes sparkle, and can make you talk for hours (the same person may seem boring later  🙂  ), is caused by an explosion of neurochemicals similar to adrenaline.  At that point you’re basically in love with the idea of being in love. 

This passion can last between six months and two to three years and is nearly gone after that for most people.  At that stage, if the relationship is not strong enough, it will usually end.  However, if it is strong enough, it will advance and then other chemicals, mainly endorphins, play a key role in long-term relationships.  Endorphins don’t induce the giddy high you feel when you are first infatuated with someone, but give you a sense of well-being, peacefulness, calmness and stability.  They literally are one of the reasons why people stay married because of their addictiveness.  Endorphins are the reason why we like loving someone.

ENDORPHINS AND CHOCOLATE

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Eating a bite of chocolate will trigger an endorphin release and can impact your mood in a positive way.  There’s a reason why I call chocolate my ‘soul food.’  But be sensible; you don’t have to eat a large amount, a little will do.  The darker and more bitter the chocolate, generally speaking, the better for you.

BY THE WAY:  THINK ‘HAPPY HORMONE’

Looking for an easier way than exercise to release endorphins and get in a good mood?  Try a good laugh, think happy and positive thoughts, or make passionate love (or all the above)!   🙂

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Fit, Sexy and Happy At Any Age!

Has this ever happened to you?  Somebody enters the room and you think to yourself ‘Wow!  What a presence that person has!’  And you notice how other people stop what they’re doing to look at the person as well.  If you would ask them, most people probably couldn’t tell you why exactly he or she draws all this attention.  Often they don’t even fit the stereotypical ‘beauty standard,’ and yet, there is something about them that makes them sexy and attractive to other people.  It almost feels like there is an aura around them.  What exactly is going on here?

Well, let me tell you a little secret:  It’s a mindset.  People who feel comfortable with themselves are generally happy and radiate positive energy wherever they go.  That in turn is being picked up by others and makes that person attractive, even sexy to them.  From a confident walk, to sparkling eyes, to a radiant smile, you can tell they feel good about themselves and it shows.

George Clooney and Queen Latifah are perfect examples for what I just described.  When they show up, people take notice.  You just know they are self-confident and like themselves, have a positive attitude, laugh often and enjoy life, and that makes them very attractive and sexy.

Now, you also can be fit, sexy and happy, no matter what age you are.  As I mentioned, it’s a mindset and a matter of attitude, and you can achieve it by developing a healthy lifestyle, getting in shape with a fit body, de-stressing and simplifying your life, and creating a positive mindset.  And when you do, you will find the  FIT, SEXY AND HAPPY  person that is already inside you just waiting to be awakened.  Visit my website   www.FitwithAndrea.com   and find out how.   🙂

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Show Off Your Sexy Arms!

     

A lot of us aren’t genetically predispositioned to have toned and sexy arms.  Combine that with the loss of skin elasticity as we age and it’s really a double whammy.  There’s good news, however.  With a little persistence, you will be able to get shapely, toned and sexy arms.  The first thing to emphasize here is regular cardio workout of at least 30 minutes on most days of the week (treadmill, exercise bike, brisk walk, jogging).  This will help you with losing fat all over your body.  In conjunction with the cardio workout, experts suggest strength training with appropriate weights for your fitness level on 2-3 days a week targeting each muscle group.  The following two exercises are effective in giving your arms the well-toned and sexy look you desire.  If you are persistent, you will notice positive changes after a relatively short time.

1.  KARATE  PUNCHES

Hold 1-2 pounds dumbbells in each hand, raise arms to shoulder level and start punching up to 50 times.  After a few weeks, do two sets of up to 50 punches and increase it to three sets after yet another few weeks.

2.  SHOULDER  PRESSES

Hold your hands next to your ears, holding 5-10 pounds dumbbells, elbows to the side.  Raise weights up and then straight back down.  Start out with two sets of 12 repetitions and add a third set after a few weeks.

So, are you ready for your little strapless dress?   🙂

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How To Get From A Beer Belly To A Six-Pack (Or Close To It)

Many men struggle with an expanded midsection.  The reasons for that could be plenty but are probably a combination of several:  From genetic predisposition to bad posture, unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, including eating too much high-calorie food, lack of exercise and yes, too much alcohol, also high in calories.
An increased amount of belly fat can also be a contributing factor to a range of health problems.  So what to do?  Well, with the following simple changes to your current lifestyle, you can see improvement in a relatively short time and if you really want to get crazy, you can get to a six-pack over time:
*  Regular exercise of at least 30 minutes on most days of the week (a combination of cardio and strength training)
*  Change your eating habits:  smaller portions, low-calorie food (fruit, vegetables, whole grain), drink plenty of water
*  Do regular stretches targeting your stomach, lower back and hip areas
*  Do regular exercises like crunches or planks to tighten your abs
*  And yes, cutting out beer (and alcohol in general), or at least limiting the amount or switching to a low-calorie version
 

 

 

ELBOW BRIDGE PLANK

Besides regular crunches, the following is probably one of the most effective exercises targeting the core – abs, hips, back:
*  Start by lying face down on the ground or exercise mat.  Place your elbows and forearms underneath your chest.  Prop yourself up to form a bridge using toes and forearms.  Maintain a flat back and do not allow your hips to sag towards the ground
*  Hold this position, focusing on tightening your abs, until you can no longer maintain a flat bridge.  For beginners, start with 10 seconds.  Return to start position.
*  Beware of cheating!  Remember to not let your hips and back sag.  This exercise will only be effective if you work to maintain a flat line from your shoulders to your feet.  You might want to start in front of a mirror to learn the technique.

Click on the following link to view a funny little video clip “Six-Pack”   🙂 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w17iO-wCPU0

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No Motivation To Exercise?

So you made the decision to make increased physical activity part of your new approach to a healthy lifestyle but feel a lack of motivation sometimes.  These four tips will help you to stay motivated while you’re going through this transition:

1.  Goals
Start by setting small, precise, realistic goals that lead to larger goals.  If you have been mostly sedentary and are just starting out, tell yourself this: “I will walk for 30 minutes a day, three times a week, so that my jeans will fit looser.  After a few weeks, I will make it 45 minutes a day, three times a week and add weight exercises twice a week in order to loose one dress size over the next two months.”  You get the picture.

2.  Role Model/Workout Buddy/Journal
Get inspired by somebody who started out where you are and successfully kept it going.  If you know that person personally, keep in contact for continuous motivation.  Look for a positive person to be your workout buddy and make keeping a journal part of your journey.  Here you can put down (and later read) your progress and what works or doesn’t work for you.  One thing I want to emphasize here:  Don’t obsess about scales and numbers.  Ideally only weigh yourself every other week or even more infrequently.  As you are going through a transformation of loosing fat and building muscle at the same time, your weight may fluctuate.  Rather concentrate on your clothes fitting better, your body looking more toned and you feeling more energetic.  If you see those changes occur, you are well on your way to reaching your personal health and fitness goal!

3.  Not just another item on your “To-Do-List” …..
Connect your emphasis on more physical exercise to a deeper level.  Make it part of your new approach to a healthy lifestyle together with better eating habits, limiting stress and a more positive mindset.  Try not to focus on what you are giving up but rather on the rewards and new options you’ll have after becoming more fit.

4.  JUST DO IT!
Before thinking this to death, JUST DO IT!  Get moving!

Running is the greatest metaphor for life because you get out of it what you put into it. — Oprah Winfrey

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Sexy Arms

A lot of us aren’t genetically predispositioned to have toned and sexy arms.  Combine that with the loss of skin elasticity as we age and it’s really a double whammy.  There’s good news, however.  With a little persistence you will be able to get shapely, toned and sexy arms.  The first thing to emphasize here is regular cardio workout of at least 30 minutes on most days of the week (treadmill, exercise bike, brisk walk, jogging).  This will help you with losing fat all over your body.  In conjunction with the cardio workout, experts suggest strength training with appropriate weights for your fitness level on 2-3 days a week targeting each muscle group.
I found the following two exercises to be very effective in combating the flab on the upper arms and giving your arms the well-toned and sexy look you desire.  If you are persistent, you will notice positive changes after a relatively short time.

1.  KARATE PUNCHES
Hold 1-2 pounds dumbbells in each hand, raise arms to shoulder level and start punching up to 50 times.  After a few weeks, do two sets of up to 50 punches and increase it to three sets after yet another few weeks.  Increase weight a little over time as well.

2.  SHOULDER PRESSES
Hold your hands next to your ears, holding 5-10 pounds dumbbells, elbows to the side.  Raise weights up and then straight back down.  Start out with two sets of 12 repetitions and add a third set after a few weeks. 

SO, ARE YOU READY FOR YOUR LITTLE STRAPLESS SUMMER OR EVENING DRESS?   🙂

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